State Rep. Matt Lori played a role in a package of bills approved this week by the House Criminal Justice Committee.
Three of the bills lower the blood-alcohol content level from the current 0.10 to 0.08 percent for operators of boats, off-road vehicles and snowmobiles. Lori’s portion of the bills is specific to watercraft.
Meanwhile, Lori’s Crime Stoppers bill establishes funding for the nonprofit Crime Stoppers organization, paid for by criminals convicted of misdemeanor and felony offenses.
Under the legislation, counties would designate a Crime Stoppers organization for the region. Those convicted of felonies would be assessed an additional $10 fee and misdemeanor fees would be increased by $5. Counties would use the money – minus 10 percent that counties could use for administration costs – to fund the Crime Stoppers unit.
The bills now go to the full House for consideration.
The Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency this week received reports of salmonella cases possibly linked to the handling of live baby chicks.
The Coldwater-based agency said the situation should serve as a reminder that people who touch ducklings or chicks should wash your hands immediately afterward.
Agency officials said live baby poultry may be put on display at stores where children are able to touch the birds. Antibacterial sanitizer or soap are the most effective measures of not picking up salmonella from such sources, agency officials said.
The city of Sturgis is continuing its brush pick-up through the end of the week.
Department of Public Services crews started the process Monday from the north side of the city and are making their way to the south end.
City officials ask that materials be neatly stacked on the terrace area, away from objects or obstructions such as power poles, guy wires, sign posts or valve boxes. Also, limbs, branches or brush material longer than eight feet will not be collected.
Grass clippings, roots, thorn-bearing branches, tree trunks, stumps or construction materials will not be collected.
Items from a residence in Colon Township were stolen during a forced-entry break-in last week.
The St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department said deputies were called to the 32000 block of Decker Road, where jewelry and a number of other items were stolen.
The victim told police the incident likely occurred between Thursday last week and this past Sunday.
Deputies from the St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department are investigating a breaking-and-entering incident that occurred last weekend in Leonidas Township.
According to a department media release, a barn was entered by the suspect and cigarettes were stolen from a vehicle parked inside. The suspect was confronted by a resident and fled the area on foot, westbound toward Correll Road.
Officials from school districts in Three Rivers and White Pigeon saw non-homestead millage renewals pass with ease Tuesday.
In Three Rivers, nearly two-thirds of the 612 participating voters OK’d an 18-mill renewal levied to the tax bills of commercial and non-homestead properties. The millage generates nearly $3.7 million annually and represents about 15 percent of the district’s annual budget.
White Pigeon Community Schools had success with its non-homestead millage renewal Tuesday, as well. Almost three-quarters of the 460 voters who took part in the vote supported the measure.
District officials said the five-year renewal ensures the district will continue to collect about $2.8 million annually through the non-homestead millage.
A request by Marcellus Community Schools for an additional 3 mills over a 21-year period was rejected, 482 to 308.
District officials were attempting to raise $15.2 million for matters related to security, technology, transportation and building maintenance district wide.